(Rumpelstiltskin Riches, a monthly feature of The Sage Butterfly blog, describes ways to reuse common items.)
When we think we have used something up in the garden, there just may be another use for it. Or something around the house may be reused in the garden.
- When holes appear, darn them as you would socks. Here's a video on how to darn a sock or darn anything:
- A great way to reuse egg cartons is to use them for planting seeds. Punch a drainage hole in the bottom of each egg pocket, fill with soil, and plant seeds. Be sure to keep everything moist.
- Punch a few holes in a garden hose and use as a makeshift soaker hose.
- Use a slit hose to cover and protect the trunk of a young tree.
- Newspaper is a great way to get rid of weeds in a flower bed. Spread the newspaper over the weeds and top with mulch. The newspaper kills the weeds and then decomposes to add nutrients to your plants.
- Got a run in your pantyhose? Cut them up into strips and use them to stake your tomato plants.
- Store plant bulbs in nylon stockings to keep them dry.
- Use plastic lids as plant saucers.
- Use large glass jars as cloches to protect your tender vegetable seedlings from the cold.
Plastic Milk Carton - One Gallon
- Cut the bottom off of a plastic milk carton and use as a scoop in potting soil, sand, or compost.
- Use one part water and one part vinegar to make a mixture to kill weeds. For more stubborn weeds, use more vinegar than water.
Plastic Plant Pots
- Use plastic plant pots to scoop potting soil or compost.
- Use them as cloches to cover your tender vegetables during a cold night. Be sure to remove them in the morning when it warms up.
- Large plastic plant pots can be carried around the garden as you weed and prune.
- Use grass clippings as mulch in the vegetable garden. If seeds are a concern, add them to the compost pile.
- Old birdhouses can be placed on the ground to offer a protected place for frogs and other wildlife.
- Baking soda acts as a natural fungicide against Black Spot or White Powdery Mildew on plants. Mix 4 teaspoons of baking soda to one gallon of milk and spray on plants. If you want the mixture to have a little more staying power, add a teaspoon of mild dishwashing detergent or horticultural oil to the mixture.
- After spreading grass seed on the lawn, tie compact discs to shrubs and tree branches to deter birds from eating the seed. The movement and the glint from the reflection of the sun as it moves will scare them away.
What are some of your ideas for reusing in the garden?
©Michelle A. Potter
Rumpelstiltskin Riches - March